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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
In this clip what I see is dog is in prey then decoy backs too far out dog looses interest and spins back towards the post guy then decoy closes the distance gets dog's attention again he takes a nice strike then lets go at 21 second mark of the video. Should the sequence be, quick nice strike then quick slip the sleeve and circle the dog?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yETTpMLnEgc
Thanks,
David
 

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Hey David...
For your peace of mind, 1) NOTHING of what the decoy is doing is viewed as "defense" material by your dog, 2) that's a nice dog...jajajaja!
 

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david, i was going to say the same thing as andres. in many cases, the crop, clatter stick or whip can be viewed as a prey stimulator. they associate the stick with prey activity. it just looks like a bit of a slow (or dare i say lazy) helper doing prey work. although it's hard to tell from the video, there does appear to be some eye contact which can be viewed as defense by the dog. when he moves in on the dog, he has the sleeve up high. so again, while most of the time people will say that moving directly at a dog puts him in defense, because he has the sleeve up high (bringing the dog's focus on it), the dog probably doesn't view it as defense work.

so there is a bit of defense work in the video, but i don't think it's a ton. like andres said, i don't think the dog was put into classic defense. he still has the classic high pitched prey bark, his ears aren't back, and he's jumping, lunging at the end of the line. i don't think he's in defense at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here is another one we are frustrating the hell out of him and still no grip. What do you think about tying him out and then teasing him with his toy then when I have a good grip let him win. Then come back and steal the prey and give him another chance to bite the toy and even if he has a good grip just keep on pulling until he chokes himself out then run off with his toy then put him in the crate for a few hours to build drive to grip and hold?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVNCx0mGkwE

Thanks,
David
 

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David, the article Doug refers you to gives an impeccable explanation of your dog's grip issue: decoy induced stress...conflict.

In the last video, your helper INCREASED the amount of pressure when your dog bit well. THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU DO NOT WANT YOUR HELPER TO DO. In sport, as soon as your dog gives a good bite...after bad bites...the decoy needs to feed the sleeve in UTTER submission, and then SLOWLY build from there.

To illustrate: the dog bites well, and what does he get as a reward? Some ugly dude looking down on him; a hand covering his eyes; a stranger putting his hands on the dog's head; more PULLING, etc. I'm sure you get the picture.

The converse is this: the dog bites badly, and what does he get as a reward? He falls flat on his ass; the prey item goes out of reach; he gets choked out...and THEN he bites WELL, and IMMEDIATELY he gets possession of his prey item. The dog thinks, "What did I do that time?", and as David Frost writes, "Every behavior that gets reinforced, is more likely to occur again."

Where a bunch of new trainers, handlers and decoys, are a bit unclear, is how fast you should advance THE SPORT DOG. And in my view, with SPORT DOGS, look for a TOTAL absence of stress...and then hike it up a LITTLE bit. Avoid the dog becoming tired at all costs. Keep the dog forward focused...so...no "taking the sleeve to the car" sort of thing.

Have ONE single goal per session. Discuss the goal and how you will ATTEMPT to reach it PRIOR to getting the dog out of the crate. Talk about what happened afterwards. Goals, for example: GRIP...or speed of entry...or withstanding pressure...or RELEASE...etc. Keep at it until the goal is reached in the absence of stress.

I'm stickin' to my guns, David. You need a more experienced decoy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Doug,

I am still going over the article. I am trying to factor out some of the variables. Example the first four video's were the second time he had seen a bad guy, strange field, these are not excuse just FYI. The last two video's were his second time with the bad guy. Part of me wants to say lack of exposure to the game that he is just unsure. And I am expecting too much too soon. He is not chewy on the sleeve so I would rule out hectic but he does have a shallow bite. I am somewhat confused here The Article states, "full, calm, convincing grips are prey motivated." Well at this point you could come on the field and do all kinds of prey movements and he may or may not aknowledge you. This type of dog is new to me I am use to working prey machines. But on the flip side he will chase a ball all day. Go figure?

The guy in the video owns the father and he says the two dogs are a carbon copy and Ajax my dog is showing the same traits that dad was at this age. I used to do prey movements with his dog and I would see the same thing not real interested or interested when He wanted to be. Then at 18 months we took Ajax's father to Alex Beyer and in one day he was a different dog. He came strait in, prong collar was on I mean serious pressure dog had crushing grips to the point that when I worked him a few day's later I could feel the pressure that I have never felt before. Sometimes I could barley slip the sleeve. So one thing is for sure as Andres has said it helps to have someone who knows what they are doing.

Doug the article helps but I learn through trial and error. You are a National level decoy so I would defer to you because you can read dogs alot better than me. I will keep reading the article.

Thanks,
David
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Doug,

Also in The Article it states if the dog was purely prey motivated, grip problems would not be an issue. But he does not show any conflict towards the helper or if he does then we are not seeing it. Perhaps he is stressed we just do not know where to look. Maybe it is a handler/dog conflict but that is why most of the time we decide to tie him out.

David
 

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grips

David
Andres in my opinion is correct, a experienced helper will or should be able to sort this out pretty quick. But, if that is not possible here are a couple of things to try. The article by the way is a huge amount of info and it was intended to give some in depth info on grip work, and rather then me TRY to write something that has been written extreme well, just cut and paste :D

Just to get a feel for what is going on, why don't you try to put a large tug on a leash and step back a bit and play with the dog that way? See what he does? Maybe put the sleeve on a leash and toss it around a bit and see how he grips it? Maybe try a different sleeve?
The second helper you showed in your videos was really force feeding the sleeve to the dog to the point of the dogs head going backwards. This should not happen, the prey should move away and the dog should go after it and catch it.

In my opinion most of the work your helpers are doing is "hectic" helper work. Remember the person is not the prey, the sleeve is the prey. I see so many people jumping around and doing stuff I am sure they have no idea what they are doing other then they saw someone else do it somewhere before, so they guess that is what should be done. And that was NOT meant to be a slam to your friends that are trying to help you. Prey work does not have to be spastic. I can get a dog into prey drive by standing perfectly still and swinging the sleeve in a semi circle in front of my body, just like a Head Dr. would hypnotize someone. The helper should be unnoticed to the dog in prey work, it's about the sleeve, tug whatever?
Sometimes that frantic behavior that the dog falls into while back tied can create bad gripping. Think of it this way for those of you that have done boxing, martial arts, police work any kind of hand to hand. If someone is all frantic upstairs and they just go into a confrontation crazy and swing like an idiot with no aim or control how many times do you think they may connect? Now if you have someone that is still super intense and ready to do some harm, but remains in control and can focus, how much damage do you think he/she may inflict versus the first guy? Many times we do that (make them swing like idiots) to our dogs in the name of "agitation" and it does not have to be that way. Barking and jumping do have there place with something's and with some dogs at certain times in their progression of training but not as often as most people think.

I know some people may say frustrate the dog and make him grip harder or better that way. This can be the case some times, but first we need to know what frustration does to the dog. With some dogs this will back fire and get you know where. At times and with many Malinois frustration is a beautiful thing and it works great, but it can also get the handler bit and it can still create a crappy grip.

Some dogs just don't have it to do bite work no matter the amount of prey drive you may be seeing when you play ball. Many hunting breeds have tremendous prey drive, but they still can't cut it doing bite work.

This part gets a little sticky with new or inexperienced helpers and I would rather that you not do this on your own. I am saying this for your info, but I really don't want an "young" helper doing this. Some dogs require some pressure put on them to bring them out or to help the little switch in their heads to click on. And that is more then likely what happened when Alex work the father of your dog. But, someone not knowing what they are doing can have things go bad quick and may not be able to bring things back if it does go bad. And just so we are clear I am not talking about cornering the dog and making him bite. More often then not this kind of work can be done with not much more then some body posturing and eye contact (with a young dog) and then bring the dog back into prey drive in a split second.

Where are you located? Maybe I know someone close to you? Or it may be worth the drive of a couple of hours to have someone take a look at your dog, that is if you want to make progress with him. Doing things over the Internet can be a double edge sword, if you are lucky sometimes you get some good advice and it helps.

Doug
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Doug,

Thanks for taking the time and giving me something to work with. I just want to help the dog. Nothing you say is taken personally.

David
 
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